Wednesday, October 31, 2007

blacks and brazil

Black Britain: Being black in Brazil vs being black in the USA by Afro-Brazilian journalist, Italo Ramos

In These Times: Can Brazil’s Quilombos Survive? by Anne Kogan is a review of Quilombo Country, a documentary narrated by Chuck D which deals with the modern communities in Brazil which were originally formed by runaway slaves.

Planet Grenada and Brazil
just as long as they don't show the parkers...
brazil race diary 1999
a rising voice: afro-latin americans
brazil's racial history
senzala or quilombo
ronaldo in palestine
arabs in brazil

Sunday, October 28, 2007

points to paradise

the fourth world

Chickenbone: Both The Fourth World Multiculturalism as Antidote to Global Violence by Rose Ure Mezu and The Fourth World: In the Belly of the Beast by Amin Sharif insightfully explore some of the civilizational tensions which characterize our contemporary postcolonial world.

traditional islam for the hip-hop generation

Southern California InFocus: Traditional Islam for the hip-hop generation by Zaid Shakur talks about some of the positive things going on in and around the San Diego urban Muslim community.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

who is black?

jamilah abdul-sabur

Yet another Afro-Caribbean Muslim-by-name-if-not-by-faith I recently discovered is Jamilah Abdul-Sabur. She is a an artist working in sound, video and photography. If I have time I intend to check out her exhibit sometime soon.

According to the New Times:
Very little appears to be happening in some of Jamilah Abdul-Sabur’s imagery, and perhaps that is precisely her message. For her project at Diaspora Vibe Gallery, the young artist documented people as they navigated down-at-the-heels sections of Baltimore, attempting to focus on the socioeconomic disparities among many of that city’s residents. Typically her protagonists find themselves stuck in very bleak spaces. They also seem helpless and unable to escape their dreary surroundings. A man lies on his back in an anonymous interior, his figure outlined by a nimbus of broken glass. A young fellow stands in a hallway, listlessness masking his face. A closeup of a woman frames her against a building full of shattered windows. Abdul-Sabur’s “... believe, in what?” features video, photography, and installation depicting three characters and their interactions within an abandoned Baltimore factory. The gritty exhibit is presented as part of the gallery’s new Off the Wall/Experimental Lab Series organized to engage audiences in nontraditional ways.

rasheed ali & rain people

I don't know if Rasheed Ali is Muslim but he is a musician who identifies as Afro-Caribbean and whose musical influences extend from Africa to all over the diaspora. I was drawn in to him through an article on his blog called: The African in Puerto Rico: An Overview

To read more of his thoughts and listen to his music, check out:
Myspace: Rasheed Ali & Rain People
CD Baby: Rasheed Ali & Rain People
Blogspot: One Tribe, Many Voices
Spanish blog: Una Tribu, Muchas Voces

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

transafrica forum and afro-colombians

Two items from TransAfrica forum on Afro-Colombians:
First: Call Your Representative to Support HR618 Recognizing Afro-Colombian Rights in the US House of Representatives. And secondly: TransAfrica Calls for Support for the Peace Process and Highlight the Issues facing Afro-Colombians which starts to describe a little of what the situation is and talks about the positive humanitarian involvement of the Chavez government.

is there a black vote in venezuela? Is There a "Black Vote" in Venezuela? is an older piece which touches on how far Venezuelan society still has to go when it comes to its Black citizens, even under Hugo Chavez.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

everything is separated by water


A few weekends ago I was able to catch Everything is separated by water; an exhibition of 17 major pieces by María Magdalena Campos-Pons, an Afro-Cuban artist from Matanzas. I was stuck by how several of the pieces touched on questions of identity in a way which could be generalized to people of African descent, Latinos and immigrant Muslims. Whether you are talking about the Rio Grande, the Atlantic Ocean or the 90 miles which separate Miami from Cuba, 'everything' really is separated by water.

Memory, historical connections to Cuba and Africa, her dislocation and that of her ancestors fuel the 17 major works that comprise the Campos-Pons retrospective Everything is Separated by Water at the Bass Museum in Miami Beach.

''Her work is about constructing identity and cultural histories,'' says curator Lisa D. Freiman, who organized the retrospective for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where it was staged more amply in 12,000 square feet of space. ``It's about who we become when we move to new places, and the feeling of not completely being whole in any place.''

'In my country, in my setting, in my town, `the problem' of being African wasn't about physical placement or about land,'' Campos-Pons explains. ``When we talked about Africa, we didn't talk about the continent. Africa was in my Cuban backyard.

''Africa was my father, my mother, my cousins and my aunts and uncles,'' she adds. ``They played the drums in the patio at all hours. The question of Africa arose from the point of view of the United States. When I was in Cuba, it was never a question.''

Using paint, herbs and wood sculpture -- sight, sounds and smells -- Campos-Pons conjures the image of the forest where the gods of santería are said to dwell. The forest also is the realm of their messenger and keeper of the roads, Eleguá, the orisha after whom Campos-Pons titles another work, The One Who Opens the Path (1997), a composition of 10 mammoth Polaroid Polacolor photographs.

Likewise, in another piece, The Seven Powers Come by Sea (1992), the seven orishas of the Yoruban pantheon are present in large wood sculptures that resemble slave ships and are carved with stick figures, showing how slaves were tightly stacked on ships sailing to the New World.

For the rest of the story, check out the Miami Herald: Cuban artist connects memories of a fragmented life

Saturday, October 13, 2007

tony gleaton aims lens at black mexicans

From the LA Times: Tony Gleaton aims lens at black Mexicans is yet another piece I "found" due to a heads-up from George Kelly. Tony Gleaton is a light-skinned Black photographer who was one of the earliest people to visually document the presence of Mexicans of African descent. And part of his purpose in starting the project was to explore his own experience of racial identity.

Friday, October 12, 2007

eid mubarak y'all...

to those who celebrated yesterday and those who will celebrate today.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

rawdah: a gathering of traditional knowledge

just passing the word along:

The Sankore Institute and the Logan Islamic Community Center are happy to announce that we will be holding our 5th annual Rawdah Deen Intensive in San Diego, California on March 7th, 8th and 9th of 2008.

This year theme will be "The reality of spiritual excellence (Ihsan)". Our teachers for this years Rawdah will be Shaykh Sayyed Muhammad ibn Yahya Al-Husaini An-Ninowi, Imam Zaid Shakir and Ustadh Muhammad Abd'l Haqq Mendes.

The text that we will be going over are Al-Muqasid of Imam Nawawi (The section on Tasawwuf), Al-Hikam of Ibn Att'Illah and the Shukr Ihsan of Shaykh Abdullahi Dan Fodio.

We pray that you all will be able to attend and benefit from this deen intensive. Please come visit our website:

Register early because space is very limited.

Amir Tariq Al Fudi

San Diego

from anti-muslim to anti-black

Here is a link to Tariq Nelson's piece Anti-Muslim bigots are also (often) racist which recently appeared at It shouldn't be surprising but it is worth being said.

i'm still busy...

but I finally have regular internet access at home and should be able to blog more often than I have been.